Green Card: To tackle the ongoing issue of processing delays for Employment Authorisation Documents (EADs), the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made a recent announcement about extending the maximum validity period for specific EAD categories to five years.
What is the new Green Card policy?
This policy announcement pertains to EAD categories that include individuals with pending ‘Adjustment of Status Applications,’ which mark the concluding stage in the green card application process and often spans several years. While their application is in progress, candidates have the opportunity to request an EAD, allowing them to maintain their employment in the United States.
The new policy will apply to all qualifying EAD applications that were either pending or submitted on or after September 27, 2023. Before this change, EADs for Adjustment of Status applicants were limited to a two-year validity, requiring them to frequently apply for extensions. The new rule is anticipated to alleviate the necessity for frequent extension applications.
To aid the immigrant workers
This change has garnered significant appreciation from both U.S. employers and immigrant workers, particularly H-1B visa holders who are in the process of obtaining a green card, a substantial portion of whom originate from India. Previously, many people faced work authorisation interruptions because of processing delays.
However, it’s important to note that the extended EAD validity period does not apply to H-4 spouses eligible for work authorisation or international students participating in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, as highlighted by immigration attorneys.